Whenever the Patriots release a player, it’s rather easy to assume that one of Bill Belichick’s former charges in Kansas City, Denver, and Cleveland will be interested in the player.
In the case of New England’s 2008 third-round pick, quarterback Kevin O’Connell, that assumption would have largely been correct.
According to NFP’s Brad Biggs, four teams put in a waiver claim for O’Connell: Detroit, Denver, Cleveland, and the New York Jets. (Romeo Crennel reportedly also tried to make a claim from his couch, but league rules wouldn’t allow it.)
Kansas City’s lack of interest isn’t a great sign for O’Connell: both decisions makers in charge of drafting him — Belichick and Scott Pioli — don’t want him.
The Broncos claim was expected, but Cleveland’s interest is good fodder for some shameless rumor mongering and speculation. So here goes.
O’Connell would have been an interesting fit on a Browns team that already includes Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson, and Eric Mangini favorite Brett Ratliff. In theory, the team has all the young developmental quarterbacks they need in Quinn and Ratliff.
The possible acquisition of O’Connell could have theoretically made it easier for the Browns to deal a quarterback, presumably Anderson.
Then again, maybe Mangini was just putting in a claim of a former Patriot out of habit.